Oops--I thought I'd changed my blog's setting so that it would take anonymous/name & url comments, but obviously not. That's been changed now, so feel free to jump in!*Over on Andre Hickey's blog, I posted the following little ramble in response to his typically sharp thoughts on the first three issues of Final Crisis:
Sean, I'm blushing my face off at the company you've (potentially) placed my Filth posts in -- there's still ample scope for me to make a mess of that project, so... here's hoping I don't do that!
Anyway, I've not been tagged by this, but Sean urged everyone to jump over, so my answer is -- David Fiore on Animal Man! That piece was a huge influence on me when it appeared on the web, and it continues to do wonderful things to my brain to this day (thanks Dave!).
Other contenders -- Jog and Marc Singer are ridiculously good, as has been noted. I'm particularly partial to their pieces on Arkham Asylum, Seven Soldiers and The Wire.
Sean and Plok -- you guys write the two most entertaining blogs I know, but I wouldn't know where to start listing your best posts.
Also, for music blogs, I have to recommend Clap Clap on Amerie, and so many posts on both Said the Gramophone and Church of Me.
Plok: that Olsen The Red post kills, and reminds me that I need more humour in my Internet diet.
It occurs to me that Final Crisis is the most extreme application of this form yet — Batman, Seven Soldiers and 52 all hint at a bigger picture that is just outside of the reader’s perception, but they have clearer focal points for reader identification (Animal Man, Will Magnus, Batman, any one of the Seven Soldiers). So far Final Crisis has taken the decentred madness of Seven Soldiers #1 as its starting point and went nuts from there. I love it, but I can see why it’s not for everyone…*Much as I'm enjoying the pulp modernism of Final Crisis, the comic from last week that really got me going was Kyle Baker's Special Forces #3. I was too busy working away at my upcoming post on issue #4 of The Filth to write anything about Baker's book myself, but here's what Jog said about it in the comments section over at The Factual Opinion:
I love the hell out of Special Forces. It's the meanest, maddest comic around. And it pulls off a really fine balancing act, I think, in that it's as much a parody of a catastrophically stupid war-action comic as a satire of current events... all the weird, quasi-superhero stuff going on, how it's carefully synched up with the story's cites to macho foreign policy tidbits... "AXIS OF EVIL MUTANTS," leading into that whole thing with mutilated children vis a vis vows against killing, tough guy 'honor'... never mind where the narrative paradigm Baker's working from obviously originates, which just adds another layer... it's kind of an astonishing work, really deeply clever but just frothing with this immediate rage... and there's jokes! Funny ones!He's not wrong! I remember reading that bit at the back of Eddie Campbell's Alec-how to be an artist where Campbell notes that for all his talent Baker sometimes lacks a substantial theme, and thinking "yeah... sounds about right". Recently, I've had to revise that opinion, which has been... interesting. Between Special Forces, The Truth and Nat Turner, Baker's been making some very overt gestures at big meaning, sometimes in the context of his trashiest and most mainstream work. I mean, Special Forces reads like modern Frank Miller comic with proper punchlines, while Baker's art on The Truth channeled Jack Kirby's blockiest impulses into something new. Nat Turner's a much more softly textured, less mainstream work, but I really need to read it again before I attempt to comment on it in any detail.
The real exception here is The Bakers, which seems unconcerned with doing anything more than capturing some of the more amusing facets of everyday family life.
Anyway, this is turning into something bigger than it was supposed to, so I think I might come back to this topic when I've got the time.